CAMS planning driver academy with F4 cars
The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport is planning to develop a driver academy in Sydney which will utilise its now dormant Formula 4 chassis.
CAMS announced this week that Formula 4 would not continue in 2020, bringing to an end the category which first appeared on Australian circuits in 2015.
The governing body now plans to leverage the cars as part of a development academy for young drivers based at the proposed Sydney Motorsport Park ‘Centre of Excellence’.
“We’ve received funding from the NSW government to set up a centre of excellence in NSW,” CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca told Speedcafe.com.
“In addition, for some years, CAMS ran academies for young drivers and we think that there would be no better asset to be able to utilise in those academies than the Formula 4 cars.
“These would not be used in a competitive sense, these would be used for training purposes.”
At the time it was announced that the facility would be used to home to an array of programs including F1 in Schools, Ricciardo’s Racers, and Dare to be Different.
The addition of a driver development program utilising CAMS’ existing fleet of cars, which is yet to be approved by its Board, is designed to provide aspiring racers a way to develop their skills before heading overseas.
The lure, and in many instances necessity, of racing overseas was cited as one of the reasons for low grid numbers that led to the demise of Formula 4 in Australia.
In response, CAMS is now looking to refocus its resources to help prepare aspiring racers before they head abroad.
“We certainly believe, as an Executive, that it’s a pretty persuasive argument to use state of the art, safe, open wheelers for training young drivers (and) would be a very good use of the cars we’ve got,” Arocca explained.
“I should point out that there are a number of cars that are not owned by CAMS, that have been sold by CAMS, and it will be up to the owners of those cars to either on-sell the cars overseas if they wish, or approach CAMS about how those cars might be utilised.
It’s understood that 18 of the Mygale Formula 4 cars remain in Australia, with a dozen still owned by CAMS and the remainder in private hands.
While their use as part of a driver academy at Sydney Motorsport Park is the primary intention, Arocca wouldn’t rule out selling the cars if the opportunity presented itself.
“That (the academy) would be our primary objective, but if there were other championships from around the world that were to approach use that have been using the Mygale chassis, we certainly would contemplate and consider.
“But our primary objective at the moment is to use the cars for the purpose of the academies.”